The Opioid Abatement Authority will be governed by an 11 member board.
* Indicates representative is appointed by the Governor
Chair, Opioid Abatement Authority Board of Directors
Senator Pillion was elected to serve Virginia’s 40th Senatorial district in November of 2019, which includes Grayson, Lee, Scott, Washington, Smyth (part), Wise (part), and the city of Bristol. As a member of Virginia’s General Assembly, Todd has been recognized as a leader for Southwest Virginia and the Commonwealth through his work on the opioid epidemic, economic development, and promoting commonsense policies good for Virginia families and businesses.
After graduating Lincoln Memorial University, he attended VCU’s School of Dentistry as one of the few students from the Southwest Virginia region. During his last year in dental school, Todd helped with the inception of the Wise RAM and Mission of Mercy project. He also joined the Virginia Army National Guard and was commissioned as a Captain in its Medical Detachment.
Senator Pillion was elector Chair of the Opioid Abatement Authority Board of Directors on November 8, 2021.
Vice-Chair, Opioid Abatement Authority Board of Directors
Dr. Sarah Thomason is Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the Gatton College of Pharmacy at East Tennessee State University (ETSU). She is the Clinical Pharmacist at the Johnson City Community Health Center, ETSU Health Internal Medicine, and the ETSU Health Center of Excellence for HIV/AIDS Care. Dr. Thomason received her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy (1991) and Doctor of Pharmacy (1994) degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia School of Pharmacy (VCU). She completed a Fellowship in Psychiatric Pharmacy at VCU in 1996. She has been a board-certified psychiatric pharmacist (Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties) since 1997 and a board-certified ambulatory care pharmacist since 2011. She is a Fellow of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. She performs comprehensive medication management in the areas of psychiatric and neurologic pharmacy, substance use disorders, and other primary care disorders.
Secretary of Health and Human Resources
John Littel is the Secretary of Health and Human Resources for the Commonwealth of Virginia. He brings 30 years of public policy experience to the Administration, developing private sector solutions for Medicaid, advocating for independent living for seniors and people with disabilities, and leading mental health and substance use disorder programs.
Twenty-six years ago, John was the Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Resources. Since then, John has held senior roles at Magellan Health, Anthem, and Amerigroup, as well as at both the federal and state government levels. He has taught government, politics and communications at the graduate level, and has also served as a member of the William & Mary Public Policy Board of Advisors. Mr. Littel earned his bachelor's degree in Philosophy and Political Science from the University of Scranton and J.D. from The Columbus School of Law at Catholic University.
In 2012, John was appointed to the Board of Visitors of the College of William & Mary and has served as Rector since 2018. He also serves on the board of The Gloucester Institute, a leadership initiative for young African-Americans based at Robert Russa Moton's historic home. He previously served as the chair of the Virginia Health Care Foundation and on the boards of the Family and Children's Trust Fund, Virginia's family violence prevention agency, and ForKids, a program for homeless families in Hampton Roads.
He and his wife, Marianne, live in Virginia Beach and have three grown children.
Treasurer, Opioid Abatement Authority Board of Directors
James “Jim” Holland was re-elected as the Dale District Supervisor in November 2019 and began his fourth term of four years on January 1, 2020. He was elected as the Board’s Vice Chair in 2010. He was elected as the Board’s Chair in 2014 and 2021.
Mr. Holland has been a resident of Chesterfield County since 1987. Born in Gates, North Carolina, he received a Master’s in Business Administration in 1980 from North Carolina Central University and a Bachelor of Science degree from Fayetteville State University in 1979, with honors.
Mr. Holland volunteered to serve in the United States Army and was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina from June 1972 until December 1974, in the 18th Airborne Corp, 118th Military Police company as a Paratrooper and Military Policeman during the de-escalation of the Vietnam War. He also volunteered to serve in Vietnam and for Airborne School.
Mr. Holland is the President of Holland and Company, CPA located in Chesterfield County. He is retired from Philip Morris USA International. He is also a Professor of Accounting and CPA Advisor at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Mr. Holland was appointed by Governors McDonnell and McAuliffe to serve on the Virginia Board of Accountancy from 2013 to 2017, and he was appointed to serve on the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy’s Ethics and Continuing Professional Education Committees from 2014 to 2017. He was also appointed by Governors Warner and Kaine to the Board of Commissioners, Virginia Public School Authority from 2002 to 2008 and was appointed by Governor Kaine as Chairman in 2008.
Founder and Executive Director, Journey House Foundation
Michael Tillem is a local business owner and the Founder and Executive Director of Journey House Foundation. Michael brings extensive experience in the hospitality field, marketing, restaurant management and sales. Journey House Foundation was created because of Michael’s personal passion and life experience in long-term recovery. He identified the need for a more hands-on recovery community, that provides mentorship and a complete continuum of care for those seeking recovery. He has personal experience and first-hand knowledge of the trauma, challenges and barriers individuals and their families face when battling substance use disorder and seeking a new way of life in recovery. Michael began his recovery Journey in April of 2002 and married his wife Kimberly in 2007. Kimberly also works alongside him at Journey House Foundation. Together they understand that recovery is not only an individual journey, but also a family journey, and a community journey. By helping the individual struggling with SUD, you not only make a difference for that person, but also their family and the surrounding community. Michael and Kimberly have 4 children, Jeremy, Kaeler, Nathan and Garrett, as well as 2 grandchildren, Jayden and Emma.
Sheriff Joe Baron is a native of Norfolk, Virginia and has dedicated his life to keeping Norfolk safe, with more than 36 years of law enforcement service. He is honored to serve as sheriff, and is grateful to the people of Norfolk for electing him to the position in 2017.
Sheriff Baron is leading the Norfolk Sheriff's Office with a newly-created mission statement: to be a values-driven organization committed to public safety, public service, and public trust. His motto for his team is to serve by the Golden Rule: treat others the way we wish to be treated.
Before joining the Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Baron spent 26 years on the Norfolk Police Department. Some of his notable positions include leading security plans for some of the city’s largest events, including Harborfest and presidential visits. He also served as a homicide detective, investigating 77 murders in Norfolk and solving all but seven of those cases. Sheriff Baron has a reputation for being persistent and dedicated to accountability, but it’s his passion for public service that fuels him. He retired from the Norfolk Police Department as the Violent Crimes Commander in charge of Homicide, Robbery, and Gang investigation units. In 1995, Sheriff Baron received the Norfolk Police Department’s Top Cop award.
Sheriff Baron served in the US Navy and Navy Reserves after graduating from Bayside High School in 1982. He is also a graduate from the Professional Executive Leadership School (PELS) sponsored by the Virginia Police Chief’s Foundation, and his classmates voted to give him the PELS Graduate Leadership Award.
Sharon Buckman is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor with over 30 years’ experience in public behavioral health. Over the course of her career she has been involved in development and expansion of a continuum of behavioral health and recovery services in community services boards, schools, and local correctional facilities. As the Clinical Director for Piedmont Regional Community Services Board, Sharon has focused on expansion of community-based treatment and recovery supports to improve the quality of life for individuals and families affected by substance use. Sharon is a lifelong Virginia resident, never straying far from the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
In May 2018 Daryl Washington was appointed the Executive Director of the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB). As the Executive Director of the CSB, Daryl is responsible for overall operations of the CSB which is the public behavioral healthcare and developmental disability services agency for the County of Fairfax and Cities of Fairfax and Falls Church. The CSB serves approximately 22,000 individuals a year, has a staff of over 1,300 full and part time individuals, and a budget approaching $200 million dollars. Mr. Washington has 25 years of experience in the behavioral healthcare field. Prior to being selected as the executive director, Daryl served as the Deputy Director of Clinical Operations for CSB. In his role as the Deputy Director, Daryl was responsible for all clinical operations. He led a group of more than 700 employees and was responsible for clinical programming ranging from Infant and Toddler Connection to CSB emergency services. Daryl holds a Masters degree in social work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a bachelors in social work from North Carolina State University. He has 28 years of experience as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. During Mr. Washington’s professional career, he has worked for Fairfax County Public Schools as a school social worker and several behavioral healthcare practices in the private sector, providing services to youth, adolescents, and adults. Daryl is a native to Fairfax County and Lives in the Centreville area with his wife and three kids.
Mr. Washington is a member of the Fairfax County Diversion First Executive Steering Committee and he served as a member of the statewide Marcus Alert Stakeholder group.
James Thompson is the co-founder and chief medical officer at Master Center for Addiction Medicine, a groundbreaking addiction treatment program headquartered in Glen Allen. Based on a vision of comprehensive outpatient care, Master Center was launched in 2016 and now extends to Virginia's Middle Peninsula region with an office in Gloucester, Virginia and Hampton Roads with an office in Hampton. The Master Center offers a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach rarely seen in the outpatient setting, staffed by experienced addiction physicians, psychiatrists, counselors, therapists, and peer recovery coaches. This evidence-based approach, both reliable and flexible, is meant to provide a physician-oriented response to addiction that can work seamlessly in the mainstream system of healthcare.
Dr. Thompson received his medical degree from VCU School of Medicine in 2004 and completed a residency in Internal Medicine at MCV Hospitals. He joined the American Society for Addiction Medicine in 2007 while still a resident and has been practicing in the field of Addiction Medicine since that time in a wide spectrum of settings. He was awarded Diplomate status by the American Board of Addiction Medicine in 2013 and was recognized as a Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine the following year. In 2015, Dr. Thompson created the Virginia Center for Addiction Medicine with guidance from his mentor, Addiction Psychiatry pioneer Sherman Master, for whom the program was re-named: The Sherman Master Center for Addiction Medicine – or ‘Master Center’, for short.
Today, Dr. Thompson serves as the president of the Virginia chapter of ASAM and is active in both the Medical Society of Virginia and the Richmond Academy of Medicine. Dr. Thompson has been an outspoken educator and advocate for the development of a more accessible and effective approach to addiction treatment. He has been a presenter at the Virginia Summer Institute on Addiction Studies, the Educational Series at the Farley Center, National Lifestyle Intervention Conference, MSV Infuse and has been a guest lecturer at UVA and VCU Schools of Nursing and Social Work. In July 2021, Dr. Thompson was appointed by Governor Ralph Northam to serve on the Opioid Abatement Authority for the State of Virginia. He recently appeared on ‘Virginia This Morning’ and ‘Ask the Doctor’ for WTVR (CBS) in Richmond to discuss the Overdose Crisis and National Recovery Month. Dr. Thompson was also featured on the prestigious Virginia Currents program for Virginia Public Television in 2020 and his pioneering work in treating opioid use disorder was the center of the documentary film “Heroin, the Hardest Hit”, produced by the office of state Attorney General in 2015. Dr. Thompson was instrumental in the effort to make naloxone (Narcan) rescue widely available in Virginia without prescription. He has been awarded ‘Top Doc’ in Addiction Medicine by Richmond Magazine in 2017, 2018 and 2021.
Timothy R. Spencer has been the City Attorney for the City of Roanoke since October 2020. Prior to his appointment as City Attorney, Mr. Spencer served as Senior Assistant City Attorney for the City for more than sixteen years. Previously, Mr. Spencer served as City Attorney for the City of Danville, Virginia for more than seven years. Mr. Spencer holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Virginia Military Institute (1983), and a Juris Doctor Degree from the T. C. Williams School of Law (1986). Mr. Spencer was admitted to the Virginia State Bar in 1986 and is admitted to practice before, the Supreme Court of Virginia, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia. Mr. Spencer is a past President of the Local Government Attorneys of Virginia (“LGA”). Mr. Spencer is also a past President of the Virginia Council of School Board Attorneys (“COSA”). Mr. Spencer served as an adjunct professor for Hampton University, teaching graduate level courses in educational and administrative law.
Delegate Jason Ballard was born in Giles County, Virginia. He graduated from Concord University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Bachelor of Science in Management. Following his undergraduate studies, Jason attended and graduated from the West Virginia University College of Law.
While earning his law degree, the tragic events of September 11th, 2001 unfolded. Jason felt the call to serve his country more than ever, so he joined the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps upon graduation. He began his military career with the historic 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) and would deploy twice into combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. Jason would go on to serve as the Senior Defense Council at Fort Knox, command the JAG School’s Student Detachment in Charlottesville, and become a member of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), famously known as the “Night Stalkers.” Jason served two more combat tours with the Night Stalkers in the Middle East. He is a decorated Veteran having earned the Bronze Star, four Meritorious Service Medals, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the German Armed Forces Badge of Military Proficiency, as well as the Pathfinder Badge, Parachutist Badge, and the Air Assault Badge. In addition, Jason also completed SERE school, which is widely regarded as one of the most physically and mentally challenging schools offered by the Department of Defense.
Jason has since left active duty but continues his call to serve in the U.S. Army Reserves as a Lieutenant Colonel. He is now a trial lawyer and owner of his own firm, Headley Ballard LLC, in Pearisburg.
Jason resides in Pearisburg with his wife Catherine, and their four children, where he spends his spare time as a volunteer coach for youth basketball, football, baseball, and golf and is an active member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Military Officers Association of America, and the Night Stalkers Association.